As India commemorates Martyrs Day on Sunday and 74 years since Mahatma Gandhi was killed, right-wing Hindu organizations plan to observe it as Remembrance Day for Nathu Ram Godse, who killed the freedom icon.
Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, said programs that glorify his grandfather’s killer suit the ruling dispensation.
“It’s not new. It has been happening ever since the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. Earlier, it used to be organized secretly. Now it is out in the public and garnering more and more support,” Gandhi told Anadolu Agency.
Mohandas Gandhi was shot dead by Godse on Jan. 30, 1948. Godse believed that Gandhi was responsible for the partitioning of India in 1947.
In the past, the right-wing Hindu Mahasabha installed a bust of Godse in Gwalior, a city in central India. But it was later confiscated by authorities.
Hindu Mahasabha will organize a program this year to remember Gandhi’s killer. “We will be organizing various programs in memory of Nathuram Godse,” Vice President Jaiveer Bhardwaj told Anadolu Agency.
Emboldened by the political rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) following the party’s success in the 2014 national elections, the Mahasabha has been pressing ahead with its agenda.
“Such programs are more apparent in states ruled by the BJP. This is the agenda of the Mahasabha as well as the ruling dispensation. It’s absolutely a part of their agenda and it is being implemented like that. It is not a one-off thing. Mahasabha has been carrying out an orchestrated, well-planned strategy that has been in place ever since the murder of Mahatma Gandhi,” said Tushar Gandhi.
Asked why the government was afraid of taking action, Gandhi said: “They don’t want to. Why should they act against their own people? When those people are doing just what is an official policy of the BJP. BJP doesn’t want to go against them.”
“It converts into votes for the ruling party. Because BJP gains politically by encouraging the Hindu Muslim divide and in the same way they want to gain by promoting Hindutva ideology by glorifying Godse,” he said. “Hindu Mahasabha has been propounding the theory that Gandhi was the original supporter of Muslims and that’s why Hindus must unite against him.”
“All this is not going to change but if the ruling BJP is voted out of power then Mahasabha may become subdued but their activities are definitely not going to stop,” he added.
Another Gandhian, Chinmay Mishra, told Anadolu Agency that “the present political class (BJP) has nothing to offer to the public. They have found a way to further their agenda and Mahasabha has proved helpful in it. It is necessary for their survival.”
Mishra said the ruling dispensation cannot survive except by creating social and communal discord and the biggest disadvantage of this is that it is corrupting an entire generation.
He said the biggest culprit is the media. The believers of Godse were there from the beginning but the media has projected those people in such a way that people are going toward them.
More than Mahasabha’s ideology, the role of the media is wrong, said Mishra. At the same time, he believes that by the time it is fixed, it will have done a lot of damage.
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